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Fantastically green fields. Vibrant mid-size cities. Quaint small towns and quirky roadside attractions. Welcome to Hawkeye Country, a quintessential slice of the American heartland. Bordered by two great rivers (the Mississippi on the east and the Missouri on the west), Iowa is a bucolic Midwest state with an abundance of rich, fertile farmland. Scenic country roads crisscross the rolling landscape, which is dominated by peaceful pastures planted with corn and soybeans. The edges of the prairie land are marked with distinct features: dramatic bluffs along the Mississippi River and soaring undulations in the Loess Hills.
In between, off-beat attractions and renowned landmarks mingle with picture-perfect rural villages and energetic cities. Get off the interstate to explore Iowa’s welcoming small towns. With charming courthouse squares and tree-lined streets, they offer an iconic image of America. Stop by local diners to chat with friendly farmers over coffee and hot apple pie - or perhaps pork chops with corn on the cob.
Almost every community you’ll come across is home to a unique museum, arts center, historic site, or fun festival. Find folk art and handmade crafts in the commune-style Amana Colonies. Wander across the celebrated covered bridges of Madison County, then visit John Wayne’s birthplace nearby. Relax on a beach at Okoboji in Iowa’s Great Lakes. Explore ancient Native American burial mounds, and go for a cruise on the Mississippi River. Walk on the real “Field of Dreams.” Discover what inspired Iowa artist Grant Wood to paint his masterpiece, American Gothic.
Indulge in exceptional culture and cuisine in Iowa’s lively cities. With a cosmopolitan vibe, Des Moines is the capital of Iowa as well as its political, cultural, and economic heart. Grab picnic supplies at the Downtown Farmers Market and unwind at a trendsetting wine lounge. Stroll across the Center Street Pedestrian Bridge at night for epic skyline views. Be dazzled by dog shows and butter sculptures at the top-ranked Iowa State Fair. Iowa’s college towns are known for nightlife, craft breweries, and sports excitement - including Ames, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids.
Iowa’s traditional character is balanced by a plethora of funky attractions. Admire the world’s largest popcorn ball in Sac City, eat at a zombie-themed restaurant in Des Moines, and see a replica of the Sistine Chapel in Waterloo. Snap a selfie with giant roadside characters, including a bull, a cowboy, a teapot, and a corn stalk.
Classic yet fun - Iowa is an exciting place to explore, from the corn belt farmland to the small towns to the cities. Connect with the distinct character and authentic spirit of the American heartland. Travel deep and discover your unique Iowa.